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ASU Museum to Host Rockabilly Boogiefest Benefit, March 1


JONESBORO – The second Rockabilly Boogiefest, a benefit concert sponsored by Arkansas State University Museum, will be Saturday, March 1, starting at 6 p.m. in the Military Science Building, 1921 Aggie Road.

The talent line-up, as announced last fall in preparation for Boogiefest, will be Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers, Charlie Rich Jr., and The Stunning Cunning Band — all prominent names among Rockabilly music fans. 

These stars also will be vending their hits and memorabilia and autographing photographs throughout the evening.  Broadcasting personality Terry Wood joins Rockabilly Boogiefest this year as master of ceremonies.

“Rockabilly Boogiefest 2014 will be dedicated to our region’s native son and Godfather of Rockabilly, Sonny Burgess,” said Dr. Marti L. Allen, ASU Museum director.  “Through the heyday of the style, Newport-born Burgess rubbed shoulders with Carl Perkins and other great Rockabilly stars while performing in clubs throughout our region and along Highway 67, the ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway.’ It was Burgess’s animated style of performance that put the ‘raucous’ in Rockabilly.”

Concert proceeds will help fund a new, permanent exhibit on Rockabilly at ASU Museum.

“Our goal is to preserve, promote, and celebrate the rich Rockabilly heritage of Northeast Arkansas,” Allen added.  “Rockabilly Boogiefest will help us raise money to develop and produce a new permanent exhibition in the Museum on the subject of Rockabilly in Northeast Arkansas.”

Those attending the concert will have a special opportunity to get involved with research for the exhibit.  ASU Museum representatives will be taping interviews with individuals about their own experiences with Rockabilly music.  Members of the audience are also invited to wear period clothing.

“Northeast Arkansas has its own very special Rockabilly story that needs to be told,” said Allen. “Rockabilly Boogiefest will have something for people of all ages.  Be prepared to get all nostalgic and dance till you drop!”

Support for the event has grown since the first Boogiefest, held in March of last year.

By proclamation of Mayor Harold Perrin of Jonesboro, Friday, Feb. 28, through Saturday, March 1, 2014, has been designated Jonesboro Rockabilly Weekend.

ASU Museum’s promotional partners for Rockabilly Boogiefest 2014 are: East Arkansas Broadcasters, Suddenlink, KASU, Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission, Cromwell Architects and Engineers, Cavenaugh Hyundai, Pasmore Media Productions and Acme Brick.  Concessions will be available from Bistro on the Ridge during Boogiefest.

One of the earliest forms of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rockabilly got its start at the intersection of Rhythm & Blues (R&B) and Country in the Memphis-West Memphis area, where it was first widely broadcast by Sun Records and KWEM.  The style was ferociously popular but short-lived, with most music authorities giving the years 1954–1959 as the heyday for the style.  Yet, in Northeast Arkansas, new Rockabilly music as well as remakes continued to be performed in clubs and on the radio years after the style was considered passé in mainstream American music.

Tickets for Rockabilly Boogiefest 2014 can be purchased through the A-State Box Office in the Convocation Center, 217 Olympic Dr., by phone at (870) 972-2781, or online at http://www.astate.edu/a/tickets.

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Sonny Burgess
Sonny Burgess performs at
Rockabilly Boogiefest 2013





“Our goal is to preserve,
promote, and celebrate the rich
Rockabilly heritage
of Northeast Arkansas.”

 --Dr. Marti Allen, ASU Museum




Rockabilly Boogiefest Logo